Joined: Jan. 2008
Meet Pakicetus, the Terrestrial Mammal BioLogos Calls a "Whale"
|But these aren't the only marine mistakes on the page. BioLogos says regarding the evolution of whales:|
|Recently, a 52-million-year-old whale fossil, Pakicetus, was found in Pakistan. It was clearly a small, wolf-sized whale, but it did not have the characteristic fat-pad, a structure that allows the whale's jaw vibrations to be used for hearing. Also, its teeth were much like those of the terrestrial animals already thought to be related to whales.|
Aside from the fact that Pakicetus was discovered in 1983, there's quite a bit more that should be said about this fossil. The claim that Pakicetus is a whale is a bit misleading, and depends on how you define "whale."Most of us think of whales as aquatic mammals. While Pakicetus is often claimed to be an ancestor of whales based on its ear-bones and other skull-bones, it was a terrestrial land mammal.
Evolutionary thinking may force-fit this terrestrial mammal into being labeled a "cetacean," but by any standard definition of the term, it was certainly no "whale."
Lasey Cuskin never fails to deliver.
BioLogos lists a few fossils that show the transition from land-living mammals to aquatic whales, with Pakicetus being the earliest, least whale-like one.
Lasey complains that they're calling it a whale because, presumably, modern whales (and other Cetaceans) are aquatic. To support this complaint, he cites Thewissen, who originally described Pakicetus:
|Taken together, the features of the skull indicate that pakicetids were terrestrial, and the locomotor skeleton displays running adaptations. Some features of the sense organs of pakicetids are also found in aquatic mammals, but they do not necessarily imply life in water. Pakicetids were terrestrial mammals, no more amphibious than a tapir.|
(J. G. M. Thewissen, E. M. Williams, L. J. Roe, & S. T. Hussain, "Skeletons of terrestrial cetaceans and the relationship of whales to artiodactyls," Nature, Vol. 413:277-281 (September 20, 2001).)
Terrestrial cetaceans = land-living WHALES, you idiot. The standard definition of whales is not "What looks like a whale to Casey Luskin".
I can't even begin to understand what amount of twisted "thinking" (for lack of a better word) must go on in the "brain" of someone like Luskin. As if it even mattered how we formally classify Pakicetus, when the important point is that it isn't a clear cut! Pakicetus had both features characteristic for land-living mammals AND for whales. That's the f*ing point.
"Random mutations, if they are truly random, will affect, and potentially damage, any aspect of the organism, [...]
Thus, a realistic [computer] simulation [of evolution] would allow the program, OS, and hardware to be affected in a random fashion." GilDodgen, Frilly shirt owner